This past Monday, Mike wrote a really good article on his blog about how to balance family life with training. He laid out five key principles that he follows to try to fit everything in: Prioritize, Commit, Schedule, Execute, and Communicate.
As a busy father of three, a husband, a friend, and employee, I often find myself in the predicament of trying to decide which activity comes first. This is a topic I’ve written about before, as it can be a struggle both for me and for triathletes all over. I think I tend to have a pretty good approach to life balance, in general. I try to be really focused on family time – and will often forgo a workout in favor of doing something with my kids. I know that won’t help me get on a triathlon podium, but hopefully I will attain the podium of life.
Mike’s post really hit a good thread with me, and I left a response on his blog about how my son and I combined spending time together with a workout this week. I thought I’d share with you all how that went down.
I had a swim workout on my plan for Monday. As I had cycled in the morning, I planned on doing my swim workout during the evening. I had invited my wife to go along (she’s training for her virgin attempt at triathlon), but she couldn’t go. We had our typical afternoon thunderstorms here in Jax; as such, my son’s swim practice was canceled. So, I asked him if he wanted to go with me.
“Only if you’ll write my workout plan, Dad,” he replied. My quick come-back: “I’ll write yours if you’ll write mine.”
And so we wrote. I came up with an “easy” workout for him, as he’s tapering for a big swim meet this weekend. Just 3400 yards, including a main set alternating 200 IM’s with 200 free, with copious rest. Then 20 x 50’s with fins. For a kid used to swimming close to 5000 yards every practice, this was a walk in the park for him. He came up with a workout of 2200 yards for me, including 100 repeats, 50 repeats and 25 “all out” repeats; followed by a long pull set.
And so off we went to the pool. The swimmer and the triathlete. The son and the dad. Off to spend 90 minutes together at the pool.
The really cool thing? While we weren’t really interacting all that much (only when our sets crossed paths and we happened to be recovering at the end of our lane at the same time), we were there together. Enjoying something that we both like. Killing two birds with one stone.
And in case you were wondering….he finished before me. Like 10 minutes before me.